Thanks so much for popping in…
If you are new here and would like to find out a little bit about me, and what Consciously Healthy is all about, the best place to start is over at the About page.
However, if you want to dive deeper and read the full version of my story and how I got to where I am today, then this page is the right place to make yourself comfy, curl up with a peppermint tea and read on…
During my early years, I was a lively child. Full of energy. I was always fascinated with the world and had such enthusiasm for life and people. I loved dancing, playing and creating.
However, after a fairly healthy childhood, by the time I reached my mid to late teens, I was struggling. Seriously struggling. But despite the severe symptoms and suffocating exhaustion that had become a part of my everyday life, I kept pushing through. I went to the doctors numerous times, but they kept saying I must just be stressed and run down and that this was maybe an after effect of the Glandular Fever I had had when I was 14.
The extent of what was going seriously wrong inside my body was overlooked because on the outside, I looked okay.
I remember once, sleeping between lessons in the sixth form common room, my head under a pile of coats, to try and block some of the light that caused intense pain in my eyes and head. I didn’t think anything of it. This kind of thing had become normal for me.
Eventually, I collapsed.
At this point, when seemingly overnight, I went from being able to just about hold it together and function, to being unable to sit up and barely able to form a sentence, people realised something was seriously wrong.
I was referred immediately to a neurologist, and after many tests including an CT scan and so many different blood tests and examinations, I was diagnosed, with ME (which is short for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and also known as CFS)
After my initial year with severe ME, I was told there was nothing the medical world could do. That I would have to sit tight and just ‘hope that I got better’. I had been forced to abandon my dreams of becoming a dancer, and stop attending school. My life had very quickly become so frighteningly small. It was at this point that I realised that I had to take responsibility for trying to find my way out of this, I absolutely refused to accept that nothing could be done to help my body reach a place of health again. I just couldn’t accept it.
With that, my fascination for the workings of the mind, body and spirit was born at around this time. I was determined to find my way out of this awful situation and get my life back.
To start with, this meant reading a paragraph of a book before closing my eyes and resting again. That was all I could manage before the pain got too much, but it was enough for me to begin learning that there were things I could do to help myself get stronger again. That hope, was such a precious gift.
In my early twenties, after many years of trial and error, moments of absolute despair and endless appointments with so many different health practitioners, I gradually made what I thought at the time, was a full recovery. Saying that in one sentence makes it sound like it happened overnight, but trust me, it didn’t. So many setbacks happened along the way. I tried so many different things, many of which I talk about in other pages of the Consciously Healthy Blog.
I reached a place of health where I was able to live a full life again. That feeling of freedom after feeling so very trapped, was indescribable. So wonderful. I wanted to make the most of every single minute.
As time progressed, I built a successful business working as a complementary therapist and was enjoying all that being well had to offer me. I felt like I was invincible – that I had overcome ME, therefore I could do anything. This confidence in my body, and myself, felt like an incredible gift. With high insight, I now believe it was what actually turned out to be my downfall.
I lost sight of the hard work it had taken to get my body to a state of health. The vast amount of things I had learned, the precious mix of things that had gotten me well. I stopped doing the important healing things, and pushed my body by working ridiculously long hours. I think a part of me believed on some level, that now I was well, I no longer had to look after my body in the way I had when I was unwell. I presumed I would just stay well, no matter what I did. How naive?!
There was also more going on here than just the physical stuff. Spiritually speaking, I had lost touch with who I truly was. Business goals, external gratification and achievements had taken over the things that were truly important to me. This, alongside the physical neglect of my health lead to what came next.
In Feb 2010 I relapsed severely. This time, was worst than the first time. Not only the physical strength of the illness and severity of my body’s screams, but also the impact my body’s collapse had on my mentality. The faith I had built in myself, felt like it had been shattered in an instant. It was terrifying and I was about to enter some of my darkest days.
The years that followed, involved needing 24 hour care, being unable to dress myself, wash myself or sit up. I spent many days in a darkened room, with my eyes closed, because the dizziness, exhaustion and physical pain made anything else unbearable.
I can not put into words the extreme anxiety and terror I felt during this period of my life.
I genuinely had no idea if I could ever manage to turn things around again. It felt like my body was closing down. I remember one day whispering to my mum ‘how can I be this unwell and still be alive?’ I felt that close to death.
It turns out, there were some huge life lessons the universe needed me to learn. But at the time, it felt like my life had been ripped from under me. I was terrified and felt like I had no idea how I was going to even begin to get any sort of life back. But, timed passed, and somehow, I did found the strength to start taking the baby steps I needed to begin to heal my body.
I started off ever so small. Laying in bed doing some gentle breathing exercises or a visualisation or standing for a few minutes at the back door breathing in some fresh air was all I could manage for a long time. But it felt like I was doing something positive for my body and slowly beginning to support myself in healing.
I quickly learned that I had to truly master the art of surrender. That famous Echart Tolle quote ‘what we resist persists’ couldn’t have been more apt when reflecting on my situation as it was back then. I was familiar with so many teaching such as this, yet I was now beginning to see everything in a different light. It all had more depth. More meaning.
” my body had stopped me physically, to force me to look inwards.
As I begin to work my way through the fog and rebuild my strength for the second time, I feel that my healing runs so much deeper than ever before. I have been forced to face parts of myself I didn’t even know existed and am approaching my recovery this time round, from a completely different perspective. I have a deeper understanding of myself, and a huge awareness of the powerful connection between the mind, body and the spirit, but as with everything, it is an ongoing process. I started blogging so I could share some of these beautiful learnings with you, many of them as they unfold.
I know what its like to lose everything. I lost my home, my business, my relationship and my ability to walk or even wash my own hair. I know what its like to feel absolute despair and hopelessness. To feel you can’t face another day and to feel so much terror at the thought of not knowing if you can ever change your situation. To look in the mirror and see an unrecognisable face. To lose trust in your body and to lose faith in yourself.
I know how this feels, yet I truly believe, that no matter how bad things get, or how many times you fall, that every single one of us has the ability to begin to turn things around.
I am still very much on my own healing path and this of course means that I have good weeks and bad weeks and everything in-between! I believe in writing authentically and embracing all that comes as I share the reality of healing, so that is what you shall find here, no sugarcoating.
My vision is that by sharing my insights, inspirations and many of things that I have learned over the last fifteen years around the topics of health and wellness, you can find inspiration that you can take with you into your own life and your own healing journey.
Thank you so much for visiting my online home, feel free to settle yourself in and have a look around.
Two posts that delve deeper into my experience and my learnings (including why I believe I got sick again after making a full recovery from ME/CFS in my 20’s) are here and here.
You can also find lots of different posts if you go to the Home Page and scroll down the right hand side and have a browse through the categories.
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